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FCC considers lowering pole rates

Thu, 04/07/2011 - 8:00am
Brian Santo

Now that the FCC has made a decision on data roaming, one of the next issues on its plate is expected to be a reduction of pole attachment fees. A decision could come down as early as today.

Pole attachment fees can amount to 20 percent of the total cost of deploying fiber-optic cable, according to National Broadband Plan documents, as quoted by Politico.

AT&T and Verizon can pay as much as $20 per foot to string fiber; smaller telcos pay about half of that. Cable companies pay about $7 per foot.

Telcos complain they are being charged unfairly, according to the Politico report.

That doesn't mean cable doesn't have a horse in this race.

NCTA executive vice president James Assey released the following statement: "Adopting low and uniform pole attachment rates and clarifying the rules will provide much-needed regulatory certainty that will permit broadband providers to extend their networks to unserved communities while fairly compensating pole owners. And adopting enforceable data roaming rights will enable new entrants to compete on a nationwide basis and give consumers more choice and flexibility in wireless services."

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